Financial education learning framework in Scotland, United Kingdom

History of the development of the framework

In July 1998, the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum (CCC) embarked on a project, supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, to examine ways of developing education for financial literacy in schools. The project had two tasks: to develop a framework to aid thinking about financial education in schools; and to develop guidance and support materials for school managers and teachers to assist them with the development of financial education in schools.

“Financial Education in Scottish Schools A Statement of Position” (1999)10 was the end-product of the first task described above. It was based on a discussion paper prepared during 1988 by an advisory group with a remit from Scottish CCC to produce a succinct and coherent statement on personal financial education. The outcome of the group’s work was endorsed by the Council as a basis for consultation and published as a consultation document. The Council’s statement of position was essentially a re-statement of the advisory group’s ideas.

Since then, financial education has become a cross-cutting theme within the Scottish Curriculum, which all schools need to address. Financial education is one of the components of a lifelong learning strategy adopted in Scotland to ensure that every young person develops the knowledge and skills they will need for life, learning and work.

The Scottish Government, in partnership with Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) have developed the “Curriculum for Excellence”11, which aims to support learners in the development of these skills. Education Scotland recognises the importance of financial literacy for all young people (Learning Teaching Scotland, 2010). They have identified four relevant aspects of financial capability: financial understanding, financial competence, financial responsibility and financial enterprise and these have been woven into Numeracy across Learning. This programme was developed from 2002, implemented in 2010 and will continue until 2016 when new qualifications, currently being developed by SQA, will be introduced.

Learning outcomes/standards

Learning outcomes are given for each dimension of financial literacy. The learning outcomes are a statement of what young people should be able to do. The learning outcomes are not assigned to particular key stages.

Learning outcomes related to financial understanding

As a result of learning experiences, young people should be able to demonstrate an understanding and critical appreciation of:

  • • the nature and role of money in society, including foreign currency;
  • • sources of income;
  • • taxation, spending, saving and investment, credit and debt;
  • • financial services/products and advisory services;
  • • consumer rights, responsibilities and protection;
  • • the impact of advertising, ICT and the media.

Learning outcomes related to financial competence

As a result of learning experiences, young people should be able to:

  • • keep financial records;
  • • analyse financial information;
  • • assess value for money;
  • • prepare and use budgets;
  • • make informed financial decisions.

Learning outcomes related to financial responsibility.

As a result of learning experiences, young people should be able to:

  • • take increasing responsibility for making decisions with respect to themselves;
  • • analyse the potential impact of financial decisions made by others on society and the environment both locally and globally;
  • • analyse the potential impact of their financial decisions on other people and the environment both locally and globally.

Learning outcomes related to financial enterprise.

As a result of learning experiences, young people should be able to:

  • • evaluate potential risks and returns;
  • • use financial and other resources in an innovative and confident manner;
  • • apply knowledge and skills creatively in a range of situations.

Topics/issues covered and their goal

The framework does not provide a list of topics/issues to be covered. The approach is to describe the intended learning outcome for financial literacy and then to describe the opportunities that exist within the existing curriculum from 5 to 18 to integrate financial literacy.

Examples of opportunities for financial learning in specific subjects are provided, but these are fairly non-specific and can’t be reduced to a list of topics.

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